It’s not meant to be a difficult question. Don’t think too long or hard about it. Don’t pop a blood vessel in your forehead trying to decide. The first sport that comes to mind spit it out. Don’t think. Just say it.

Here’s the question: If you could compete in any sport in the Olympics what would it be and why would you choose it?

Sand volleyball? Yes. Any opportunity to get to the beach, you take. Rowing? Sure. My shoulder pain has subsided a bit. Badminton? Ugh, I would if I had to. Swimming? I’m too hairy, even for Olympic pool-sized drains. Gymnastics? Don’t think I have the stamina. Track and field? Definitely, sore joints and all. Basketball? You betcha. Team camaraderie on the hardwood, there’s nothing like it. Water polo? I’d give it a shot — if I could use floaties. Diving? Sorry, can’t, motion sickness. Synchronized swimming? Not patient enough. Soccer (or football)? Only if I can be goalie. Wrestling? I’m not tough enough. Table tennis? If you mean Ping-Pong, I’m game. I’d draw for inspiration, Forrest Gump. Cycling? Not sure. Can I get a wide, cushiony seat?

How about fencing? You know, I saw a downright intense fencing match where a sword-wielding fella from the U.S. perforated another sword-wielding fella from France. It was entertaining even without the blood. So yeah, en garde!

Weightlifting? I don’t think so because I’d likely tear something inside my body and I don’t like tearing anything inside my body.

Judo? What exactly is worn under those robes? I’d have to first know that.

Trampoline? China’s Dong Dong took gold in the men’s individual trampoline event with what was described as “a breathtaking sky-high routine.” It’s fun jumping on a trampoline, but trying to execute multiple acrobatic moves in mid-air? I’ll take a pass.

Equestrian? A horse once broke my father’s leg right before my eyes. I was never the same. Even stirrups make me quiver.

Handball? Hey, I’m dodge ball champion in my backyard, so handball would be right up my alley. I think.

Canoe sprint? I suppose, but for sure canoe slalom. Even fake rapids look adventurous.

OK, let’s narrow it down to a specific event. If you could compete in any event in the Olympics what would it be and why would you choose it?

That’s easy, the decathlon. Why? That’s easy, too. You’re competing in not one but 10 events over two consecutive days. Nursing the common cold? Too bad. Got a hang nail? So sad. That bunion giving you trouble? Sorry.

But the decathlon seems like the most grueling and most glorious sport of all the Olympics. After you wake up, have some Wheaties and put on your Bruce Jenner face wax, you compete in the 100-meter run, followed by the long jump, which precedes the shot put, then the high jump, and finally you close out your day with the 400-meter run. The next day: 110-meter hurdles, followed by the discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and then you wrap things up with a punishing 1500-meter run.

Count me in!

Join the discussion on social media!

Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...